“Apple’s decision to give its ultra-thin MacBook Air notebook computer a battery that users can’t replace themselves bucks a growing trend, and some say could hurt its sales. With more and more PC buyers choosing notebooks over desktops, many want the option of carrying a spare battery or adding a high-capacity battery to get more hours of use,” Patrick Seitz reports for Investor’s Business Daily.
“‘Some users want more control over their notebook and there’s no doubt that not having a user-replaceable battery will not appeal to those people,’ said Todd Rapparport, vice president of marketing for FreshBattery. Irvine, Calif.-based FreshBattery sells replacement and spare notebook computer batteries online,” Seitz reports.
“Apple’s move to batteries that users can’t replace themselves likely will worry many consumers, says Mark Fleig, director of marketing for Batteries.com. Apple’s iPhone smart phones also have batteries that users can’t replace themselves,” Seitz reports.
“Apple says it used an integrated battery in the MacBook Air in order to make the product thin and stylish,” Seitz reports. “Apple has been offering spare and replacement notebook batteries for a long time but found that few people were buying them, a company spokesman said.”
“People are more likely to carry their notebook’s power adapter than a spare battery, he says. Many airlines are adding power outlets on their planes, eliminating the need for a spare battery on long flights, he says,” Seitz reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This is more than a bit like interviewing buggy whip makers about the debut of the automobile. Now, there are aftermarket battery makers – BatteryGeek.net, for example – that don’t waste time whining, moaning, and generating FUD, but instead make external battery packs for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro that plug into the MagSafe connector and offer up to up to 20+ hours of additional runtime per charge (BatteryGeek.net also offers iPhone and iPhone external battery packs, BTW). One would assume that the wait will not be long for MacBook Air-compatible external battery packs for those who need a spare battery. Of course, then you’re carrying around another battery, so perhaps you’re more of a MacBook or MacBook Pro user anyway.
There are no special tools or knowledge required to swap out the MacBook Air’s battery. Just a Philips screwdriver and about 3-minutes. The Air’s battery can be unplugged from the circuit board with a simple tug (it’s not soldered to the board). We think odds are high that third-party, user-replaceable batteries will be available for MacBook Air before the first Air batteries begin to run down.
Other items of interest — or what we like to call “Whiner Silencers” — that Apple already offers for MacBook Air:
• MagSafe Airline Adapter: $49. Just plug it into your airline seat power port and keep your MacBook Air powered up for the entire flight.
• Ethernet Adapter: $29. Connects to the USB 2.0 port of your MacBook Air and provides an RJ-45 connector that supports 10/100BASE-T performance.
• Modem: $49. Connects to the USB port on your MacBook Air.
• MacBook Air SuperDrive: $99: Compact external MacBook Air SuperDrive connects to your MacBook Air via USB and fits easily into a travel bag. Read and write CDs and DVDs, including double-layer DVDs.
Other things MacBook Air road warriors might consider (besides canceling their chiropractic appointments): USB EVDO Modem for wireless broadband, USB Travel Hub for multiple devices, and other such items.